Allen Doderlain... you are a person of wise mind and good heart. I really enjoyed listening to you speak. You prompted much of what is below. I do take full responsibility for anything that doesnt make sense or sounds silly.
It occurs to me that:
1. You should never minimize the problems in your life but no matter how bad things are, how messy problems are bad things are what you must cope with, not what you must settle for. That is a critical distinction too many of us dont make. To cope with does not mean to settle for. And so often, too often we do settle. We dont have to. And that is the most realistic thing you can know.
2. Dont attach a "yes but" to the positives in your life. Too often we measure what is right by how much is wrong. Treat good stuff important. Things become treasure by the value we treat them with. Become a ruthless treasurer.
3. Be persistent. Refuse to be defined by what is hard. Instead define yourself by your pursuit of what is possible.
Life is your testimony. Choose a story you really want to tell.